Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird. Local optimization, mobile optimization and longtail keyword optimization.longtail keyword optimization. Let's face it: keeping up with the latest SEO developments is a huge challenge and can quickly become a resource-intensive rabbit hole, especially without a clear strategy. SEO is about more than just driving traffic to your website. After all, what good are 1,000 new site visitors if only one of these visitors is actually a potential customer? That's why effective SEO is a measured, strategic marketing tool that brings the right person to your website at the right time, driving conversion rates and boosting your bottom line.
Does it ever seem like everyone you meet in digital marketing is claiming to be an "SEO expert" these days? The term SEO gets thrown around a lot in conjunction with digital marketing. You're certainly not at fault for wondering if SEO is just the latest clever scheme to rip business owners off by getting them to pay for something that's notoriously tricky to measure and rarely has an immediate benefit. "SEO's don't exist because of SEO's, they exist because of Google." And with Google's search algorithm constantly evolving, keeping up with all these changes - and what these changes mean for your company's website - can be a huge challenge.
Outsourcing your SEO to an agency or an in-house expert ensures your business stays abreast of the latest SEO trends without distracting you from your main focus. Making the decision to outsource is the easy part: picking the right firm or person requires a careful and rigorous interview process. If you're hiring in-house, SEO recruitment firms such as Recruiting.com, Kas Placement and SEO.io can help connect you with local experts in your area. But how do you start narrowing down the candidate list? When interviewing potential firms or in-house hires, start by asking these three questions:
1. How do you measure SEO success?
Be wary of any firm or person who promises to get your business "#1 rankings" and considers top rankings to be equivalent with SEO success. Sure, it's great to have a high search position in organic search results. But being ranked first translates into zero direct revenue benefits. Conversion and engagement metrics are far more important.
2. Once you've delivered "best practices" for my website, what's next?
SEO is more than just re-writing home page copy to better integrate longtail keyword search terms or strategically adding links to your copy. A one-time site audit for best practices is a good first step, but it's not a permanent solution. If you need a one-stop solution, look for firms that offer ongoing SEO building and PPC management together with retargeting, social media marketing, and content marketing. If you want to hire in-house, the right candidate will have several years of experience managing inbound marketing campaigns.
3. How do you integrate SEO into other aspects of marketing?
SEO does not happen inside a vacuum. This is one reason why outsourcing to an agency can be a bit tricky. Your agency rep will need to work closely with your marketing team and be in the loop on all your inbound marketing campaigns - be those PPC, social media, content marketing, etc. - in order to ensure SEO efforts are seamlessly working in harmony with these campaigns. If you won't be outsourcing the bulk of your inbound marketing efforts to an agency, you may be better off hiring in-house. Hiring someone with SEO expertise onto your marketing team will ensure important institutional knowledge doesn't get lost in translation.
SEO is a niche industry, and finding the right person or agency that meets your company's unique needs can be challenging. However, it's far better to invest the resources up front to hire the right person or agency rather than end up throwing more time and money away on half-baked SEO "tricks" that fail to translate into actionable leads and sales.